In a statement late afternoon on Wednesday, 8 June 2011, Lowe Bull CEO Wayne Naidoo regretted any distress caused by the Shoe City ad, saying it was never the agency's aim to encourage cruelty towards animals. "The 'cat' ad was never intended to cause offence at any point," he said. "However, we acknowledge that it is possible to interpret the ad in such a way that it looks to be in poor taste. For this we apologise. No harm was meant."
Wayne Naidoo, CEO of Lowe Bull.
According to Naidoo, the ad is one execution in an extended campaign: "To put the ad into context, the campaign looks at hypothetical situations where something has gone wrong in a person's day, with varying degrees of disaster. For example: spilling coffee on your lap, spilling coffee on your laptop or spilling coffee on your boss's laptop.
"The solution is some retail therapy to help cheer you up - a new pair of shoes from Shoe City. The tone of the campaign is light-hearted and not malevolent."
Naidoo further pointed out that the agency does have a proven track record with animal anti-cruelty organisations, evident in its pro bono campaigns for Animal Anti Cruelty (with which it's been involved for over eight years), Stop Rhino Poaching, SASSI (for endangered fish) and DAWG. "And we will continue to do work for these worthy causes," he added.
"Once again we sincerely apologise for any distress caused."For more:For More list updated at 3.55pm on 21 June 2011.